In a landmark turnabout, one of the cornerstones of contemporary liberalism is being rejected by one of the fountainheads of liberalism. The politically correct doctrine of multiculturalism is heading for decline, as Holland, one of the most socially liberal societies on earth, is reversing its former policy of multiculturalism. Soeren Kern, writing for Hudson New York, covers an important story that has gotten almost no notice from the American media, which wishes to pretend that multiculturalism works just fine:
A new integration bill (covering letter and 15-page action plan), which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament on June 16, reads: "The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model and plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people. In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role. With this change, the government steps away from the model of a multicultural society."
The letter continues: "A more obligatory integration is justified because the government also demands that from its own citizens. It is necessary because otherwise the society gradually grows apart and eventually no one feels at home anymore in the Netherlands. The integration will not be tailored to different groups."
The new integration policy will place more demands on immigrants. For example, immigrants will be required to learn the Dutch language, and the government will take a tougher approach to immigrants to ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law.
The government will also stop offering special subsidies for Muslim immigrants because, according to Donner, "it is not the government's job to integrate immigrants." The government will introduce new legislation that outlaws forced marriages and will also impose tougher measures against Muslim immigrants who lower their chances of employment by the way they dress. More specifically, the government will impose a ban on face-covering Islamic burqas as of January 1, 2013.
This occurred just a day before a Dutch court acquitted Geert Wilders of defaming Islam by, in part, reading from the Koran. It looks as though common sense is triumphing in one of the nations which led the western world down the path of political correctness. It is hard to overstate the potential importance of this development for societies elsewhere, including the United States.
Kern's report includes some fascinating background information on the transformation of the Dutch political environment, including an about face on the part of Interior Minister Donner on the subject. Read the whole thing.
Hat tip: John McMahon